Electric Cars Myths vs Facts

Electric Cars Myths vs Facts


This is a big one. Brace yourself. I’m going to talk about the top EV myths
I hear about the most often. While that’s technically true, it’s not
taking into account how your fueling pattern changes with an EV. In an ICE car, you drive until your tank reaches
a point that it needs more gasoline, say 1/4 tank. Then you make a detour to a gas station and
spend 5 minutes fueling up and then go along your way. If you’re an EV owner and have a dedicated
parking spot, like a garage, that has a place to plug in, you can do that every night when
you get home. No detour, no waiting until you have a 1/4
tank left, you just plug it in every night, or every few nights. The next day when you get up to drive to work
or run errands, you have a full tank ready to go. No waiting at a gas station. No fumes. No detours. It’s a completely different fueling pattern. Driving long distance might take a little
longer, but again, not as much as you might think. For instance, while driving from Boston to
upstate New York to visit my parents (roughly 380 miles or 611 km) I pass 10 Tesla Superchargers. My car has a range of 310 miles fully charged,
but let’s knock that down to 250 miles to account for things like cold temperatures
or inefficient driving. I’ll only need to make one stop during that
trip to fuel up, and in the 20 years I’ve been making this drive in ICE cars, we always
stop somewhere to eat lunch about half way into the trip. If we spend 30-45 minutes to stop, eat, stretch
our legs, and charge at a Supercharger, we’ll have more than enough to get to my parents
house. Since we’ve always made food and pit stops
like this in the middle of the trip to eat and gas up, there really isn’t a change
to the total drive time. Again, it does take longer than gassing up,
but your car can charge without you there, which leaves you to take care of other errands
at the same time. The one area where the “I can gas up in
5 minutes” starts to gain some real truth is for folks who don’t have a dedicated
parking spot in an apartment building or a garage at home, where they can’t plug in
every single night. This is really for people who have to park
on the street. They need to find alternative ways to power
up and depending on where you live and work, this is something you’ll need to figure
out if it can work for you. In my area, many companies have installed
EV charges in their office and business parking lots, so you can charge your car up while
at work. Or charge up your car at the grocery store
while you shop. Again, multitasking that saves you time over
a gas station, but it really depends on where you are. There are still areas that may not have widely
distributed public EV chargers yet, so street parking EV owners will have a bigger challenge
and it may not work well for you day to day. But I think you’ll be surprised at how many
public stations there are, and you can find out by using apps like PlugShare, Open Charge
Map, or ChargePoint, and in Europe Chargemap. And finally there’s increased investment
worldwide on building out DC fast charging locations. Many public chargers are either Level 1 or
Level 2 AC chargers, which range in charging speeds from a few miles added per hour to
30+ added per hour. Level 2 is what you see most often in public
locations. With DC fast charging, which is similar to
Tesla Superchargers, you can get rates of up to 9 miles per minute. Those networks are getting built out quickly
with over 2,000 sites in the United States so far, and even more available in Europe. And there are 350kw fast chargers starting
to open up, which can charge around 20 miles per minute. “What happens when the power is out? I can still gas up my car.” In the United States the average custom er
experiences 1.3 power interruptions that account for four hours during the year.4 And that’s
including major events that knock the power out. Obviously, your mileage will vary depending
on where you live. I don’t know anyone that keeps their gas
or EV nearly empty until they need it, so you’d have whatever is in your car when
the blackout happens. For most EV owners, that will probably be
a fairly full battery. If you talking about those blackout averages,
then there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. If you’re talking about something more catastrophic,
where power could be out for days, then everyone will be affected because gas stations may
not have power for the gas pumps. In those situations, you wouldn’t be driving
around like normal, you’d be driving to get to safety and would have to plan accordingly. Again, extremely rare. “The batteries don’t last long and are
super expensive to replace!” This one is a resoundingly false from all
my research. Many people compare the longevity of their
cellphone battery to the longevity of an EV battery, which is apples and oranges. You might notice significant degradation on
your phone in a few years, but not so in an EV. They have different battery chemistry, different
use cases, and charging patterns. Nissan Leaf taxis have been shown to have
75% of their battery capacity after 120,000 miles (193,000 km) of service. Tesla’s show an even better longevity with
5% loss after 50,000 miles (80,000 km), and another 5% after 150,000 miles (241,000 km). With the average U.S. driver going about 13,000
miles per year, and owning a car on average for 7 years you will not even come close to
needing to replace the battery on a new car. Not to mention that most EVs come with an
8 year or 100,000+ mile warranty on the battery. The average usable lifespan of the battery
will extend way beyond that point. But how much does it cost? In 2012 it was reported that a Tesla Model
S 85 kWh battery cost $12,000 to replace. However, lithium ion battery price per kWh
has been declining rapidly from around $400 per kWh in 2012 to around $150 per kWh. Tesla has publicly stated that it’s trying
to get a to a $100 per kWh very soon, which will drive the battery pack price down even
further. Given how quickly the prices are dropping,
and the fact that you wouldn’t have to worry about an out of warranty battery for 8 years,
the cost isn’t going to be anything to worry about when you project prices out 8 or more
years. This one is complex because there is a little
truth in those statements, but they’re completely out of context. You need to look at the full lifecycle of
a car from manufacturing, to use, to disposal. Let’s start with manufacturing. The Union of Concerned Scientists completed
a thorough study that showed an 84-mile range EV results in about 15% more emissions during
manufacturing than a gasoline vehicle, and a 250 mile range EV comes in around 68% in
higher emissions. It all comes down to the size of the battery
pack. As crazy as that 68% higher may sound, it’s
quickly overshadowed by a gasoline car as soon as it’s driven off the lot … well,
not right off the lot, but within 18 months of driving. The EV will result in 53% lower overall emissions
compared to a similar gasoline car. So how do we get to that 53%? Let’s look at the well-to-wheel emissions,
which accounts for extraction, processing, and distribution of the primary energy sources
that the vehicles use. All of this really comes down to your electricity
source, which is fairly easy to find out if you don’t already know. Depending on where you live this can change
drastically. Looking at data from the U.S. Department of
Energy, in Massachusetts we’re 69% natural gas, 16% nuclear, 8% renewable (solar, hydro,
wind), and 4% coal and a few other random things round it out. A gasoline car produces 11,435 pounds of CO2
equivalent each year vs. an EV in Massachusetts at 3,533 pounds of CO2 equivalent each year. If you take a step back and look at the national
average, EVs step up slightly to 4,453 pounds of CO2 equivalent per year. Move to a state like Missouri, which is 80%
coal, and EVs produce 8,135 pounds of CO2 equivalent per year. Still better than gasoline cars, but nothing
close to what we’re seeing in states like California at 1,974 pounds of CO2 for an EV
each year. Even a purely coal electricity driven EV will
pollute less than an average conventional gasoline car over its lifespan. It’s the emissions saved from using the
car day to day that pull EVs way ahead of gasoline cars, and as more states and countries
move into cleaner electricity, those numbers will continue to improve over time. Norway is nearly 100% renewable energy right
now. And some surveys have shown that between 28-40%
of EV owners have solar panels on their homes, like I do. And finally, the end of life of these cars. Lithium ion batteries can be recycled, which
will keep hazardous materials from entering the waste system. Some car companies, like Renault with their
Zoe EV in Europe, are taking degraded batteries and repurposing them into their whole home
battery storage system. Tesla already has partners for recycling spent
battery cells, but is planning to build out it’s internal recycling system to make all
of the Gigafactories a closed loop system. It’s not only good for the environment,
but it also makes financial sense because they can recoup a lot of valuable materials
without having to dig for more. In the end, both gasoline and EVs put out
just under one ton of CO2 during disposal. The U.S. Department of Transportation shows
that Americans drive an average of less than 40 miles, or 64 km, per day. A Nissan Leaf has a range of around 150 miles
or 240 km, a Chevy Bolt is around 200 miles or 320 km, and the long range Tesla Model
3 is around 300 miles or 480 km. Any of those EVs are more than enough for
your daily drive without any worry of range. And as I mentioned before, if you’re plugging
in at home at the end of the day, you never have to worry about range the following day
either. But what about longer range trips. Well, according to data from the good old
Department of Transportation here in the U.S., 98% of all single-trip journeys were under
50 miles. Trips over 70 miles in length account for
just one percent of all single-trip journeys. And if we only account for more rural travelers,
who drive longer distances than urban travelers, it’s still 95% of all trips being under
50 miles. And when looking at all drivers and the average
round trips, 93% drive less than 100 miles round trip a day. For the more rare, genuinely long range trips,
which I do myself a couple of times a year, something like a Nissan Leaf may not be practical. Fast charging locations off a highway might
be able to charge you up in 30-60 minutes, but with a range of 150 miles you’d be stopping
for 30 minutes every 125 miles or so. If I were driving to my parents house, which
is roughly 380 miles away, I’d be stopping three times in a Leaf, but with cars like
the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, and upcoming Hyundai Kona, I’d only be stopping once. That’s same number of stops, and the same
length of stop as I would do in a gas car. And if you combine EVs longer ranges we’re
seeing today with the faster charging networks being rolled out, this is even less of a problem. Yes, right now EVs are more expensive upfront. And yes, many EVs on the market are more in
the luxury price point. At least right now, but that’s changing
quickly. This is always how new technology and manufacturing
works. In the beginning it’s very expensive to
produce, which means the luxury markets tend to get access to the new, cool tech first. As manufacturing yields better results and
efficiencies are made, they can produce more for less cost per unit, which drives the cost
down and out of the luxury market. Tesla is transitioning through that phase
right now with the model 3. Their first cars would run you close to six
figures, but today they’re edging closer and closer to the target of $35,000 for the
short range Model 3. The Chevy Bolt is already available for around
$30,000, and can sometimes be found for less. The Hyundai Kona, a CUV that I’m genuinely
excited for, is due out next year here in the U.S. for $36,000. With or without a tax rebate, EVs are rapidly
hitting prices that the average consumer can afford. In a couple of years we may be seeing cars
in the mid $20,000 range, which is where the upcoming VW ID Neo is rumored to be, not to
mention the used market that will grow over time. An EV in the United States on average costs
half as much to run as an equivalent gasoline car. Based on a University of Michigan study, they
found EVs to cost roughly $485 per year vs. $1,117 for gas. Electricity prices tend to be more stable
and easier to project over time than gasoline prices, which can fluctuate wildly. Being more predictable makes EVs easier to
budget for. Then there’s the maintenance costs. With fewer moving parts, exhaust system, less
wear on brakes, smaller and more efficient cooling system, no oil, no engine air filters,
timing belts … you get the idea … the cost of maintaining an EV is lower than a
gasoline car too. How much less? That’s very hard to estimate given the wide
variety of gasoline cars and their reliability, but it is less. Will you come out ahead vs. a gasoline powered
car? It depends on what cars you’re looking at. Comparing a Tesla Model 3 long range AWD to
a Toyota Camry isn’t a exactly apples to apples, but if you’re looking at spending
about $30,000 on a car regardless of the type of engine, then you can easily say that a
$30,000 EV will cost you less than a $30,000 gasoline car over time. But it all comes down to whether or not that
$30,000 EV has the looks, features, and build quality you want. I’ve gotten this basic statement a few times
since I started my channel, and I hate to break it to you, but every car on the road
is a bomb on wheels. Gasoline isn’t exactly fire friendly. The biggest problem with the “EVs catch
on fire” myth is that it’s being perpetuated by the media because it’s sensational. It’s newsworthy because Tesla cars and other
EVs are still rare, and events like the Samsung Galaxy exploding batteries didn’t help matters. When one catches on fire it’s a news event,
but when a gasoline car catches on fire it barely gets a mention … and only then if
it’s blocking traffic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
has stated that the risk of fire on: “Lithium ion battery systems are anticipated
to be somewhat comparable to or perhaps slightly less than those for gasoline or diesel vehicular
fuels.” There’s a car fire in the U.S. about every
1-3 minutes, which totals about 174,000 vehicle fires a year. With there being so many fewer EVs on the
roads, it looks like there’s virtually no fires in comparison. From a CNN Money article: “Tesla claims that gasoline powered cars
are about 11 times more likely to catch fire than a Tesla. It says the best comparison is fires per 1
billion miles driven. It says the 300,000 Teslas on the road have
been driven a total of 7.5 billion miles, and about 40 fires have been reported. That works out to five fires for every billion
miles traveled, compared to a rate of 55 fires per billion miles traveled in gasoline cars.” It’s still very early, so in time we’ll
get better data around the fire risk, but it’s been grossly overstated in the media
up to now and blown out of proportion. You’ll have to excuse me while I get on
a tiny soapbox here. This wasn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s
some of the most common comments I’ve received since I started the channel. Many of these myths have been perpetuated
by the media, pushed by oil companies, and even by car manufactures themselves. If you haven’t watched the movie, “Who
Killed the Electric Car?,” I recommend you give it a look … some of this has been around
a long time. EVs are still in the minority, and until you
experience driving and living with one yourself, it can sometimes be hard to wrap your head
around how different from gasoline cars they are, and yet … the same. Charging behavior can’t be mapped to how
you’re accustomed to fueling a gasoline car. The idea EVs pollute as badly as gasoline
cars from production through use is one that’s been floating out there for years. The transition off of fossil fuels has finally
started and isn’t going to stop this time. There’s too much momentum behind it around
the world, and the technologies making it possible are becoming cheaper every day. No matter your political persuasion, worldview,
country of origin, this transition makes sense for personal finances, for business opportunities
and job growth, for energy independence and national security. It just makes sense, but right now we’re
in a period of transition and there’s a natural lack of understanding because this
is all still new. And that leaves open a gigantic opportunity
for fear, uncertainty, and doubt. None of what I’ve said should be taken as,
“get out there and buy an EV now.” EVs are still on the expensive side of things,
and it may not make financial sense for you right now. You may still have a perfectly good working
car that has many years ahead of it. Be pragmatic about it, but when it’s time
to purchase a new car, you should give serious consideration to an EV. There are many exciting, and more affordable
options on the way. If you liked the video, be sure to give it
a thumbs up and comment below on some of the common questions or thoughts you’ve heard
about EVs. And if you’d like to support the channel
and are looking for some great Tesla accessories, you can get 15% off your first order with
Abstract Ocean, which can save you a lot of money on their console wraps, bright LED lights,
screen protectors, and much more. And if you’re looking to buy a Tesla, you
can get 6 months of free supercharging by using my referral code. The same code also works if you’re looking
at Tesla Solar, which will give you an extended warranty. For international folks, you can also take
advantage of the referral program, but evidently the URL method doesn’t work. You’ll need to email Tesla the referral
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the delivery went, and what you think of the car. But if you did use my code, thank you so much. Don’t hesitate to shoot me a message on
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60 thoughts on “Electric Cars Myths vs Facts

  1. Matt

    Congratulations on making this award winning "EAA Best Educational Video"!

    You deserve huge kudos for smashing the many misconceptions and myths.

    This is just about the best video I have watched. Thank you for advancing the understanding in such clear terms!

    Best wishes!

    Ron

    Chairman Emeritus

    Electric Auto Association

    electricauto.org

  2. I have a gas powered vehicle now, but a VW ID Buzz is definitely in my future. Saving for the down payment as of now.

  3. 100% electric vehicle saturation & the death of fossil fuel vehicles can't come soon enough! Those toss pots who STILL believe in fossil fuel cars should go & stand along side the dinosaurs in the local museum!

  4. I enjoyed your video. Right now, the electric vehicle is out of my price range.
    Further, I live in a small village ( less than 2000).

  5. it doesn't really take longer to supercharge than get gas. Around where I live, buying gas with a credit card is way more expensive than paying with cash. So you to a cheap station and because it's a cheap station there's always a line. Often long. Once at the pump you have to go to another line to pay. Then you get to pump and go. Or now that you have waited to get to the pump, to pay, and are ready to leave, you get to be in another line to use the restroom. The cheapest stations here are at Costco, and that can be a 20-30 minute wait. But at least there you would use your credit card.

  6. All those lies are been spewed by “some” companies to try to hinder EV proliferation. Thank you for taking the time and effort to spread mere accurate and sensible information about EV. Cannot wait until I am finally able to get an EV.

  7. Great video and i trust the information you shared.

    Nevertheless, just saw this:
    https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/international-issues/electric-vehicles-in-germany-emit-more-carbon-dioxide-than-diesel-vehicles/

  8. Running an EV ignores the taxes that government charge. Such as registration and fuel excise. The government would need to recoup those loss in taxes. Also many countries offer cash incentives for purchasing EV cars. Not quite comparing apples to apples. You note that as an assumption or caveat.

    Thanks Gary

  9. Giving the current gas station infrastructure, the best option for car manufacturers is adopting an EV model, but adding a gas engine to charge the battery on the fly.

    As the gas engine is for battery charging only, the engine needs not to be very powerful. I guess a 3-cylinder engine is enough.

  10. You are forgetting the big problem with electric cars. If we stop burning oil and returning buried co2 to the atmosphere plants will be in distress, deserts will spread and we will have a problem feeding the world. EV's are going to cause mass starvation in a few decades when the co2 is gone. Just saying.

  11. Two really important things for me who lives near the actic circle and have temperatures as low as -40C/-40F during the winters are range in snow & cold and how much range it takes to heat up the interior so it is nice and warm during the trip. We aldo have long distances between places and nowhere to recharge along these roads.

    Will there ever be an EV that works well up here? The government is more or less forcing us to swith to EV's with higher and higher taxes and fuel prices so how crippeled would I become if I made the switch today instead of holding out a few more year?

  12. I bought a Clarity PHEV this year. I generally burn 0 gasoline Monday-Friday and generally only have to activate the engine on weekend for doing fun stuff out of state. My next car probably will be a full EV.

    My only gripe with the Clarity is that it has ICE maintenance intervals. But it is a fun car.

  13. Still plug it in 2 minutes unplug another 2 minutes. Do that 3 times a week and you have 12 minutes vs 5 minutes to refuel.

  14. I like your videos. You speak clearly and provide a wealth of information to the topic at hand. Clearing up myths with facts that new or yet to be EV owners, helps ease misconceptions and doubters. I applaud your work.

  15. I’ve just been trying to figure out if it takes a long time at a station. No one wants to be at spot for 35 minutes

  16. You mentioned in black outs you won't be able to charge your car.

    Would a portable generator be able to charge an electric car either in a black out or while traveling for long distances? Also does all electric cars use the same charging stations?

    I'm thinking about getting the E-SOUL.

  17. Looking forward to going electric-it’s not only a saving on fuel and maintenance costs,but it’s far more environmentally friendly then a gas driven vehicle.Hopefully where I’m moving to(its a rural area) will have more charging stations within the next few years.

  18. This guy is on tesla payroll big time. His facts are grossly overstated. I can name one tesla charging station near me and it's at mall hardly every go to. I looked up charging stations along a normal 190 mile trip I drive twice a month here in ohio. To charge I would need to drive 20 miles out of my way and hope the station is not in use. So 40 miles round trip 30 to maybe hour or more wait. Closest charging station to the trips end point is 45 miles away and unless I purchase a charger for just that end point no way to recharge for the return trip. EV make sense if you never leave the major city's or only travel along major highways and plan everything around finding a fast charger. Stop for lunch to charge is joke because you have plan that too to avoid ever other EV user with the same idea. Chargers are general one or two plug spots that seem to be in use all the time.

  19. You actually don't state actual costs of batteries, even projected. Second you don't mention what happens as more and more peeps switch to Ecars from gas cars on fuel and the loss of taxes to keep our roads in up keep disappears. 3rd low income will not be able to afford these cars for some time or not at all.

  20. I don't know why people are really pushing for renewable energy when nuclear energy takes up way less space, has less deaths per energy produced and are way better for the environment. I just don't get it.

  21. Last time I looked at a TESLA, price was$150,000.AU.
    Guess prices are finally coming down.
    Looked at a used Toyota some time ago, but battery wasn't up to spec and replacement price was just over $10k… Sigh!
    There was another great video on this subject. (app 3 years ago)
    Interesting points he made was;
    Taking into account vehicle production, lack of infrastructure support, electric vehicle produced slightly less than gas engines, taking into account the huge surge in power source requirements at given times and the predicted electricity price increases (expected and now confirmed) making electric vehicle use (on a massive scale) unviable. Renewable energy will not cover the demand.
    But, he said there significant reasons to go electric.
    1. It can move the energy production polluters away from cities, giving air clean cities (for all electric car cities).
    2. If, in 20 years, fusion reactors/power is a reality, it would transform societies literally overnight.

    Memo to self: calculate lithium battery recycling /recovery vs waste comparisons.

  22. Definitely a biased video. Why didn't you mention thermal runaway fires and the difficulty of putting them out? How can you assume that all the batteries in EV cars will be full when the power goes out? And how about the individuals who save money on doing maintenance and repairs on their own cars (as myself), where if i owned a tesla i would not be able to do so as i dont have the necessary computer programs.

  23. I'm going to destroy my step father and his crap talk about Ev's with this video, thank you

  24. city here refuses to install more EV chargers in a neighbourhood unless the single one there is already is used more than 12 hours a day every day over a period of several months.
    As EV drivers are pretty much all commuters with decent jobs, and thus aren't anywhere near the chargers 12-14 hours a day, that's never going to happen.
    Thank you local council…

  25. Great video Matt. And solar in car roofs and hoods seems to be emerging. Given your figure for average daily use, much of the energy need for this may come from on board trickle-charging. After all the car is sitting out in the sun most of the day.

  26. Wow !! Man!! That was the most comprehensive video I've ever watched on YouTube. Wow.. you are a miracle in content creation Man!! 😃♥️👍👍

  27. Of course EVs are going to grow in number..
    But , at the moment, they won’t get far towing even a small european caravan , when a diesel car is best.
    Also, the efficiency of petrol engines is improving , particularly for small cars.

    The main problem , with pollution, is that the population of the world is increasing.
    I haven’t looked into the growth since, say, 1900; but I do remember that in the mid 1950s there were about 2,000,000,000. Now the figure is greater than 6,000,000,000 . So the population has roughly trebled in about 60 years

  28. Just stumbled on your channel and I am impressed. I will now check out other videos you have done and I look forward to them.

  29. What about operation in low temperatures. How will the batteries behave at -15 C. If you do not have a garage, how will the batteries cope with the extreme temperature?
    How about the range at -15 C.

    I am excited about EV’s and I think they are the future. I really hope that in 3-5 years I can afford one.

  30. Today, with todays tech, EV are perfect if you can use them fully in their window. Its gonna take some years before they can compete with gas powered cars on long distance.

  31. Yeah. Make sure you have a constant charging station. If not, you have a wrong type of vehicle . Besides, my state is too busy spending taxpayers money on homeless and criminals which equals no charging stations. So an electric car is a dream in new Mexico…..

  32. While driving an EV will never be as fun as a manual transmission gasoline car, I would definitely consider one in the future, for economic and environmental reasons.

  33. Most of these problems wouldn't exist if our government invested in or mandated the infrastructure. And companies made electric cars more attractive to buy over ICE cars.

  34. Many good points in your video, but some misinformation to correct here: The majority of ICE vehicles can easily reach the 380 miles to your parents house without having to stop for fuel. Tweaking reality to make a point pokes holes in credibility and your voice is too important to let that slip in.

  35. Moment solid state batteries hit the market it is checkmate for gasholes from the ICE age. No fires, instant charging, cheap, temperature independent.

  36. How the batteries for an EV produce? Lithium production batteries are contaminating our environment? Solar panels are not as efficient as u believe they are

  37. Well said, Matt. There is always resistance to new tech (for many different reasons) but as the new tech becomes more mainstream the initial FUD tends to evaporate.

  38. I don't have a garage, but my house has a driveway and I park within 6 feet of my house using my Tesla wall connector. I charge using 220 volts at 48Amps for a peak charge rate of 44Mph. No garage necessary.

  39. The truth about EVs is that they are still Impractical. You don't just want a car to shop and go to work in. There will always be times when you want to do long journeys
    occasionally . Or to do a medium journey only to realise that you haven't got enough time to charge as well. Then there's the times when you forget to put it on overnight charge.
    For busy young families it's another thing to worry about. Imagine if all cars were electric and someone invented a car that could do 700 miles on one 2 minute charge !
    That's a petrol , diesel or Hydrogen. No contest.

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